5. Whisky Distilleries in Kansai Region

1. Hokkaido Region / 2. Tohoku Region / 3. Kanto Region / 4. Chubu Region / 6. Chugoku Region / 7. Shikoku Region / 8. Kyushu-Okinawa Region


5. Kansai Region

5-1. Suntory Spirits Yamazaki Distillery

Suntory’s founder, Shinjiro Torii, had a passionate desire to “make Japanese whisky that suits the delicate taste of the Japanese people” and decided to make whisky, and Yamazaki Distillery was born in 1923 as the first whisky distillery in Japan.


Image source: single malt whisky Yamazaki Suntory

When the Yamazaki distillery was built, Suntory invited Masataka Taketsuru, who had studied whisky production in Scotland, the home of Scotch whisky, and appointed him as the director of the Yamazaki distillery.
Yamazaki is located southwest of Kyoto, at the foot of Mt. Yamazaki was chosen from among a number of candidate sites because of its “high quality water” and “natural environment” both of which are important in whisky production.

Yamazaki distillery at the time of its operation.
Image source: Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky, Suntory

In the distillery room of the Yamazaki distillery, distillation kettles of different sizes and shapes are lined up facing each other.
Distilleries with such a variety of distillation kettles are rare in the world. The distillation kettles of different sizes and shapes each produce different types of sake, ranging from light to heavy flavors.

Image source: Yamazaki Distillery – Wikipedia


Location Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka 618-0001
5-2-1, Yamazaki, Shimamoto-cho, Mishima-gun, Osaka
  • JR West Japan Tokaido Main Line (Kyoto Line) Yamazaki station 7 minutes by walking
  • 10 minutes walk from Oyamazaki Station, Hankyu Railway Kyoto Main Line
Start of operation1923
Official HP Suntory Yamazaki Distillery
Visiting the distilleryTours are available,reservations required through the website.
Currently, tours are temporarily suspended. (December 28, 2020)
ProductsSingle Malt Whisky Yamazaki, Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 12years, Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 18 years, Single Malt Whisky Yamazaki 25 years

Yamazaki Distillery’s signature whisky.

5-2. Eigashima Brewery

Eigashima Shuzo, which produces the small 500 ml bottle of local whiskey“Akashi” was a sake brewer founded in 1888.
Its history of whisky production is surprisingly long, and in 1919 it obtained a license to produce whisky.

Image source: Eigashima Brewery – Wikipedia


The installation of pot stills and other equipment for full-scale whisky production was completed in 1984. Since then, the company has sold lower-priced whisky, but has recently released a number of new products, including “Akashi” Single Malt 8 Years and“Single Malt Eigashima Sherry Cask” .

Image source: Eigashima Brewery Co.

Image source: Eigashima Brewery online store

Address of head office Akashi, Akashi City, Hyogo Prefecture 674-0065
919 Nishijima, Okubo-cho, Akashi-shi, Hyogo
AccessNearest Station: Nishieigashima Station, Sanyo Railway
Start of operation1919 (Licensed to manufacture whisky)
It is unknown if distilling had started.
Official HP Eigashima Brewery Co.
ToursTours are available. Reservations required by phone or email.
Currently, tours are temporarily suspended. (December 28, 2020)
ProductsWhite Oak Single Malt Akashi, White Oak Local Whiskey Akashi, White Oak Akashi Red

Eigashima Shuzo‘s representative whisky.

5-3. Nagahama Roman Beer Nagahama Distillery

Japan’s smallest Nagahama distillery is located in the northern part of Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture.
In 1996, Nagahama Roman Beer became the third craft brewery in the Kinki region to start producing craft beer, and after 20 years of craft beer production, Nagahama Roman Beer began operating the Nagahama Distillery on the premises and distilling whisky in 2016.

Inspired by Scottish craft distilleries, it features rich, fruity, grain-derived, richly sweet, undiluted alcohol that flows from an arambic-shaped pot still and ultra-thin line arms.


Image Source: Nagahama Roman Beer Nagahama Distillery

In 2020, Amahagan, a blend of malts from Nagahama Distillery based on malt whisky from overseas, won three out of four bottles in the regular series at the World Whisky Awards (WWA).

14-1 Asahi-cho, Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture
AccessApprox. 4 minutes walk from JR Nagahama Station
Approx. 4 km from Nagahama I.C.
Commencement of operations2016
Official HPNagahama Roman Beer Nagahama Distillery
InspectionTours are available, reservations required through the website.
ProductsAmahagan, Single Malt Nagahama, Nagahama New Make

Representative whiskies of Nagahama Distillery

5-4. Kyoto Sake Brewery Kyoto Miyako Distillery

Kyoto Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. was established on August 16, 2019. The whisky production license was obtained on July 6, 2020. There are a total of three pot stills. Two 5000L and one 1000L.
On March 19, 2021, three types of whisky were launched: “Kyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Red Belt (Blended Whisky)” , “Kyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Black Belt (Bourbon and Malt Sake Blend)” , and “Kyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Purple Belt (Blended Malt)”.
“Kyoto whisky is sold only in Kyoto Prefecture” is officially announced, but it is probably about over-the-counter sales, and it is sold on mail order sites, so it seems that it is possible to purchase it even for people outside Kyoto Prefecture.

Is the Kyoto Miyako Distillery a distillery affiliated with Matsui Sake Brewery Co., Ltd. because it was listed as “Kurayoshi Distillery” in Tottori as a training place after recruitment in the recruitment medium recruited as an opening staff? It was controversial for a while, but the truth remains unknown at this time.

image source: kyoto whisky official Twitter

Location Postal Code 629-1131
11 Minami-Bayashi, Sakahara, Kyotanba-cho, Funai-gun, Kyoto
AccessNearest station: 10 minutes on foot from Wachi Station on the JR Sanin Honsen Line
Start of operationJuly 6, 2020 (for closed to the public, the date of obtaining the whisky production license is stated)
Official HP Kyoto Shuzo Brewery Co.
ProductsKyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Red Belt, Kyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Black Belt, Kyoto Whisky Nishijin Ori Purple Belt

Typical whisky from the Kyoto Miyako distillery.

5-5. Akashi Liquor Brewing Co., Ltd. Kaikyo Distillery

Image Source: Hamonzaki Whiskey
| Strait Distillery

Akashi Sake Brewing Co., Ltd. was founded in 1860. Starting with the manufacture of shochu, we have since acquired liquor manufacturing licenses and have been manufacturing brewed liquors such as sake, mirin, liqueur, and synthetic sake.
He obtained his whiskey licence in 2017. There are two pot stills, both made by Forsyth in Scotland. Similarly, mash tan (saccharification tank) is manufactured by Forsyth.
Distillation was scheduled to begin in 2020, but has been delayed due to the impact of the new coronavirus.
The current product lineup sells “Hatozaki Whisky” , which is probably bottled using overseas raw sake, for overseas markets. At present, it is not distributed domestically.
We plan to start selling craft gin“Hyogo Dry Gin at 135 degrees east longitude” from the autumn of 2021.

Location 1 Okurahachiman-cho, Akashi-shi, Hyogo 673-0871
1-3 Ohkurahachiman-cho, Akashi-shi, Hyogo, Japan
Access10 minutes walk from Asagiri Station on JR Kobe Line
Start of operation2017
Official HP Kaikyo Distillery
ProductsHatozaki Pure Malt Whisky and Blended Whisky, both not sold in Japan

5-6. Axus Holdings Corporation Rokkosan Distillery

Axus Holdings Corporation (Tokushima)operates “Hour Liquor” liquor specialty stores and “Charlie” drugstores, and imports and exports liquor and food products. Rokko, a landmark of Kobe with its beautiful night views and abundant nature including famous water, will become a center of new culture centered on whisky by appealing to people who love to drink and are sensitive to information in Japan and around the world through the production, aging, tours, tasting and sales of whisky and spirits at the Mt. The initial plan is to start operations in November 2020.


The initial plan was for operations to begin in November 2020, but this was postponed to late March 2021. The project was delayed until late March 2021, and operations began on July 1, 2021. The site area is 1,160.73 m2. The project started as part of Kobe City’s “Lively Creation Project” utilizing idle facilities on Mt. Rokko with the aim of revitalizing Mt.

For the time being, the company plans to produce only whisky, using German-made pot stills. The distilled whisky has already been aged in casks, and the intention is to sell it as “Japanese whisky” that has been aged for three years or more. The company intends to expand overseas by developing overseas markets in cooperation with domestic and overseas suppliers.

The current product lineup includes “Rokkosan Pure Malt Whisky 12 Years” and “Rokkosan Pure Malt Whisky 12 Years Peated.
This pure malt whisky is made by adjusting the addition of natural Mt. Rokko water to the original Scottish malt whisky. Available at Motomachi WHISKY in Kobe City.

Location of distillery 1034-1034 Minami-Rokko, Rokkosan-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe, Hyogo 657-0101
1034-229 Minami-Rokko, Rokkosan-cho, Nada-ku, Kobe-shi, Hyogo
Access15 minutes walk from Rokko Sanjo Station on the Rokko Cable
Start of operationJuly 1, 2021
Official HP Official Instagram of Rokkosan Distillery
ToursTours, tasting rooms and stores will open from August
ProductsRokkosan Pure Malt Whisky 12years, Rokkosan Pure Malt Whisky 12years Peated

5-7. Kizakura Corporation Tamba Distillery

Founded in 1925 (Taisho 14), Kizakura Corporation, known for its sake “Kizakura” and “Karakuchi Ikkon”, established this whisky distillery in Tamba Sasayama, Hyogo Prefecture, at an altitude of about 300 meters, surrounded by clear air and forests, with annual temperatures exceeding 30°C and humidity so high that fog is a common occurrence. The Tamba factory, built in 1974, has been producing authentic shochu using stainless steel distillers since 2004, and began producing whisky using those stainless steel distillers in 2018.

Aiming at further authentic whisky production, two copper distillers (first distillation: straight type) (redistillation: bulge type) made by Forsyth were introduced in October 2021. One mash tun is made by Miyake Seisakusho, and two wash backs are made by enamel. Fushimi water is used for brewing water.

Current brewing is 1.5 tons of one-patch malt. Both non-peated and peated malts are used.

Up to saccharification is done at the craft brewery in Fushimi, and the 8,000 liters of wort from a single saccharification are transported by car to the Tamba distillery, about an hour and a half away, for fermentation and maturation. The aging warehouse is located at the highest point in the Tamba Distillery and has been converted into a maturing warehouse. A wide variety of malt liquors, including bourbon casks, new oak casks, and sherry casks, are grown in the dunnage-type maturing warehouse.

In the future, the company aims to introduce barrels made from Mizunara oak and other domestic timber, and to achieve an annual production volume of 30,000 liters.

Image source: JWIC

Location1-19 Honjo Dogaya, Imada-cho, Tamba-Sasayama, Hyogo, Japan
AccessApproximately 20 minutes by car from the Sanda Nishi IC
Commencement of operations2018
Official HPKizakura Whisky Tamba official HP
InspectionNot allowed


Kizakura Single Malt Whisky Tamba, Kizakura Blended Malt Whisky

Sakura Chronos

Typical whisky of Tamba Distillery

5-8. GrowStars Inc. Kobe Distillery

GrowStars Inc. was established in 2015 (Heisei 27). It is a general trading company whose main business is trade agency services such as import/export formalities representation.

The Kobe Distillery will start operation on October 14, 2022. Surrounded by mountains, the land is suitable for whisky maturation due to its natural environment with large temperature differences throughout the year and high humidity.

The distillery is equipped with a pot still dedicated to whisky and a distiller dedicated to brandy.

Bourbon and sherry casks will be used for maturation, as well as Japanese oak and cherry casks.


The distiller used for brandy is an imported direct-fired “Alambic Charentes” (single distiller) made in France, which was once used for high-end brandy.

Roadside Station Kobe Fruit and Flower Park Osawa, 2150 Kami-Osawa, Osawa-cho, Kita-ku, Kobe City, Hyogo Prefecture

Approx. 15 minutes by bus or cab from Kobe Electric Railway “Okaba Station”

Approx. 15 minutes by cab from JR “Sanda Station”

By car: Exit at Osawa IC of Rokko Kita Toll Road.

Commencement of operationsOctober 14, 2022
Official HPKobe Distillery Official HP


Typical Whisky from Kobe Distillery

5-9.Kishu Kumano Distillery, Plum Foods Co.

Founded in 1969 as a drinking water manufacturer and founded a distillery on its 50th anniversary.
It will develop its whiskey business toward its 100th anniversary in 2069.
From the photos on the official website, it appears that two distillers, one from ABE in the U.S. and the other a hybrid type, are in use.
The main product, “Japanese Blended Whiskey Kumano,” is a blend of Scotch and Japanese whisky, and is aged in oak barrels. 500 ML bottle of this whisky costs 3,850 yen, making it relatively inexpensive and readily available.

One batch is made up of 500 kg of malted barley
Malt used is non-peat and peat 20 PPM.
Washback is stainless steel and distiller is 2000L first distillate and 1000L redistillate.
Warehouse is dunnage type.
The distillery is currently working on a distillery tour and the use of domestic malt in the near future.

Location1474-1 Ikuma, Kamitonda-cho, Nishimuro-gun, Wakayama 649-2103, Japan
Acces30 minute walk from Asago Station on the JR Kinokuni Line.
Started operationMay 2019
Official websiteKishu Kumano Distillery紀州熊野蒸溜所
Distillery tour


Typical products of Kishu Kumano Distillery[itemlink post_id=”27619″]

5-10.Han Kurayashiki Kitashinchi CO-LABO

Just established in May 2023 as a microbrewery.

The company will challenge itself to produce, sell, and enjoy sake in a genre-less way that is not bound by conventional concepts, as an experimental workshop and sales store based on the concept of “creating “sake” that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
On July 7, 2022, the company acquired trademark rights for its original brand “Sente Naruan.
The company plans to release whiskeys and liqueurs bearing the name of the product of the same name.
The first product to be released will be a craft whiskey, and the company is currently recruiting cask owners on its official website.
The store opening is currently undecided.


Location1F Beer Ding Kitashinchi, 1-4-2 Dojima, Kita-ku, Osaka 530-003, Japan
Acces 5 min. walk from Kitashinchi Station on JR Tozai Line
Started operation ー
Official websiteHan Kurashiki Kitashinchi CO・LABO藩蔵屋敷 北新地CO・LABO
Distillery tourundecided


5-11.With One Corporation Yabu Distillery

Operation will begin in July 2023.
Yabu is read as “Yabu” in Japanese.
According to a theory, it is also the origin of the word for “bush doctor.
Construction will begin in 2022. The site is approximately 8,000 square meters and includes a distillation building and two storage buildings, with the storage building holding approximately 2,400 barrels in a dunnage system.
The distillery will be the first of its kind in Japan, with most of the equipment, including pot stills, being supplied by Frilli of Italy.

Approximately 65,000 liters will be produced in the first year and 130,000 liters in the second year.
A 700-milliliter bottle is scheduled to be released around 2026, at an estimated price of 8,000 to 10,000 yen.
Two people are involved in supervising production: Kenji Hosoi, former director of Nikka Whisky’s Technical Development Center, and Kenji Hosoi, former visiting researcher at the Geisenheim Wine Institute in Germany before becoming director of the St. Neige Wine Research Institute, and then deputy general manager of the Asahi Beer Board of Directors, deputy general manager in charge of the Liquor Division and director of the Wine Business Department, and director of Food R&D. He has also served as deputy general manager of the board of directors of Asahi Breweries, deputy general manager of the board of directors of the Liquor Division and director of the Wine Division, and deputy general manager of the board of directors of the Food Research and Development Division.
The whiskey production process features Idemitsu Kosan’s patented filtration method using metal-supported zeolite.
In addition to yeast and lactic acid bacteria, a third microorganism is used in the wooden fermentation tanks to change the flavor and create a new whiskey.

Location844-1 Chunaka, Oya-cho, Yabu-shi, Hyogo 667-0325

Kita-Kinki Toyooka Expressway “Yabu” IC – 25 minutes by car
Take JR Konotori and get off at “Yoka” station, then take a bus for about 1.5 hours

Started operationJuly 2023
Official websiteYabu Distillery養父蒸溜所
Distillery tourPossible (currently not possible)
CommodityScheduled to launch in 2026

5-12.Kawashima Sake Brewery Lake Biwa Distillery

Founded in 1865.
It is a long-established brewery located in “Harie, a town with frosty kabata” where “Harie-no-shozu” flows, which is famous for its excellent water on the shore of Lake Biwa and has been selected as one of the 100 best waters in the Heisei Era (100 best waters in Japan).
The brewery is known for its Nishi-Omi local sake “Matsunohana” and daiginjo “Fujiki,” etc. The brewery’s style of sake making is based on the ancient tradition of cold brewing, and is faithful to the basics without any eccentricities. They respect the history and traditions of the past.
The company’s sake has won the Monde Selection gold medal in 2002.
The company exports its highly acclaimed sake to 15 countries around the world.
In order to expand its share of the global market, the company will obtain a license to produce whiskey in 2020.
For starters, the distillery has purchased Scottish sake and started flavoring it in casks.
As of 2023, the distillery has expanded its facilities, conducted a series of experimental distillations, and began full-scale distillation in July 2023.
Sake is made from November to February, and whiskey from March to October.
The first branded product is scheduled to be released as Biwako Distillery in the fall of 2023.
The whiskey to be released in the fall will be purchased in Scotland and matured for two years in oak, cherry, and chestnut (chestnut) casks.

Location83 Asahi, Shin-Asahi-cho, Takashima-shi, Shiga 520-1501

8 min. walk from Shin-Asahi Station

Started operation
Official websiteKawashima Sake Brewery Co.川島酒造株式会社
Distillery tourUndecided (brewery tours are available)

Scheduled for fall 2023